An experienced store manager reveals the 3 shortcuts to plan employee shifts with ease

May 8, 2019 5:32 pm

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Walking into the office on a bright Monday morning, surrounded by the smell of fumes coming out from the exhaust of vehicles conveniently lined on the road, the sound of soft musicals coming from the convenience store on the next block and of course, the sounds of feet scurrying off to resume their task. Looks like a near perfect world right? Except that the night before Monday, I had an unpleasant night planning my employee’s shift.

My employees work Monday to Friday covering the hours of 10am-10pm in different shifts. Take about a handful. So, trust me, I know all there is to know about the stress of planning the shift. To others, the task of shift planning might look simple, however, planning employee shift may take up to 4hrs in a week., 16hrs in a month, 192hrs in a year, or better put as, 8 full days in a year. Imagine punching in numbers in an attempt to keep track of how many hours each employee worked just so you can ascertain how much they should be paid?

This was what I had to endure day-in day-out until I discovered 3 simple shortcuts that allowed me to plan my employee shift with ease.

  1. Know your team: This is the most important aspect of shift planning and it begins with the hiring process.

There are many good people out there, but not everyone is fit for every job.

One of the advantages is that being the manager, information is at your fingertips. Be diligent enough to study each individual’s capability as this will help you determine what hours to schedule a worker for work. For example, a weak or new worker for quiet or less busy hours and stronger workers for busy hours.

2. Have an open mind: Information is king, however, this can vanish in a flash too.

An open mind causes a cause and effect reaction.

An open mind creates a channel through which the workers can pass on vital information to managers and supervisors which can help you manage the subsequent shift.

The effect of this is that through the channel put in place, workers are aware of the interest you have in them, and it rubs off on them. They become more willing help by taking up canceled shifts, work with more dedication and most importantly, allows you to be at ease in fixing shifts.

3. Shift-scheduling software: Technology simplifies things and shifts planning is no exception.

With the appropriate technology, you can develop schedules that take into account the skills, pay rate, and employee availability.

Additionally, by making use of software increases communication with employees as they have easy web access to schedule shifts and to view their schedule.

With something like this in place, employees can beforehand swap shifts, request time off, take up a free extra shift without having to go through the familiar last-minute hustle.

Not only does the strategy spare you headaches and sleeping pills, but they also enhance productivity, prevent fraud and errors, fit your payroll into your budget and above all, increase employee’s moral which increases productivity.


Payboy is a highly versatile and mobile Human Resources Management System that gets things done anywhere, anytime. Wondering how else Payboy can help in building your business? Find out more here!

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